9th September

The high hopes generated by a heavily overcast dawn with not too distant showers running up the Channel looked to be evaporating after a relatively migrant-free couple of hours when proceedings were galvanised by news of a Little Bunting - Portland's earliest autumn record by more than a fortnight - at the Pulpit Bushes; sadly, its visit was all too brief and its next appearance - in flight over the Higher Lighthouse a little later - proved to be the last that was seen of it. A Hoopoe overhead at Blacknor was perhaps most likely to be the Bill bird of a couple of days ago relocating, whilst during the afternoon an Osprey headed rapidly south over the Bill. The common migrant situation wasn't quite as dire as first indications had suggested, but tracking things down was never easy in a pretty stiff easterly; noteworthy totals from the Bill included 20 Whinchats, 9 Spotted Flycatchers, 4 Pied Flycatchers and a Short-eared Owl. Six Balearic Shearwaters through off the Bill constituted the only worthwhile reports from the sea.

Immigrant moth interest was again very limited, with the totals of individuals from the Obs traps only just getting into double figures.

Little Bunting, Tree Pipit and Pied Flycatcher - Portland Bill, 9th September 2015 © Keith Pritchard (Little Bunting), Martin Cade (Tree Pipit) and Mark Rayment (Pied Flycatcher)

We haven't had a great deal to report lately from Nick Hopper's nocturnal recording sessions, as much because Nick's visits seem to have coincided with periods of fairly subdued passage; however, by all accounts last night saw a good deal more activity that we'll report on once Nick's finished running through the recordings. As a taster Nick's sent us through a couple of recordings from his last visit of what are turning out to be two of the most frequently logged species in this mid-autumn period: